So you have an upcoming college presentation.You want to have that undeniable presence in your classroom while presenting so that people are left awestruck with your speech, right? Are you searching for tips to make a presenter stand out?
If the answer to all the above questions is yes, then here comes the good news, readers. Well, you need not look any further as you have landed exactly at the right page looking for your answer.
Presenting in front of an entire class is not an easy task. It takes a lot to take the whole class glued to you just like a beard on a hipster. It is true that different people have different personalities and styles of presenting. But when it comes to delivering, there are certain secrets which are followed by all.
Being a student who is pursuing her master’s degree from one of the most reputed universities in the country, I understand how difficult it is to present a college presentation. What makes the matter worse is that these presentations carry important grades along with it which determine your final GPA of the semester!
But does it mean that a student has to sit back and get nervous? No. With the right techniques developed, delivering a college presentation is as easy as pie. Thus, instead of fearing it like a dark cloud circulating above your head, stay tuned to this post to adopt the right style.
Tips to follow while preparing for a college presentation
- Preparation is the key
Maybe you are an extrovert or theatrical. But that doesn’t mean you will go unprepared! No matter how good a public speaker you are, you need to be prepared about your presentation topic from before.
I remember one of my professors remarking to a classmate- ‘‘Preparation is the key to a good presentation.’’ Thus, remember that you should be well-versed with your topic. Only with a good knowledge about the topic will you be able to connect with your audience. This will help you to capture the attention of your listeners and maintain it throughout the session.
A one-way communication never works. Despite the fact that you are the only speaker during your presentation, you need to ensure that the communication is two ways. Try making your speech engaging and interesting by looking at your audience, speaking to all of them.
Avoid hiding behind the computer or your teacher’s desk. This will create a negative impression in the minds of your listeners.
- Show your personality
Remember that you need to show some character to your audience while presenting. A presenter with no character is just like Adam Smith from the Matrix. Instead, try to be like Conan O’Brien who makes fun of himself while presenting to keep his listeners engaged.
- It’s the little things that count
It is quite natural that you will prepare the content, the slides. But what about covering the little things that matter the most?
For instance, how to start the presentation, how to end it, terms to use while changing slides, etc. Should you begin with a ‘hello, hi’ or a formal greeting like ‘good morning/afternoon’, and end with a ‘thank you’, or ‘thanks for your attention’ or ‘hope you liked it’? It is these little things which will either make or break the audience’s interest in your speech.
- Frame your presentation on the basis of time
You need to pay special attention to the content and structure of the presentation. Consider- ‘How much can I cover within 10 minutes’, ‘what are the key points’, ‘what does my audience already know about’?
If you have a time slot of 15 minutes, divide the parts of your presentation accordingly. Generally, a presentation consists of an introduction, a body and a conclusion. Pay attention to the details you will be able to cover in the body. Carefully decide the implications of the discussion and findings of in conclusion.
No matter how well versed you are in your topic, it is not possible to deliver 100% accurately as per your previous plan. I still remember the time when seven of my total slides had suddenly got corrupted in the middle of a presentation. That’s when I learnt about the importance of improvisation.
With my slides getting corrupted suddenly, I managed to present my speech with the help of my flash cards and the ideas I had from before about the topic chosen. Thus, even if you forget something in between or forget what you are expected to narrate, keep calm and improvise smartly.
- Make use of your hands
Non-verbal communication works wonderfully at times. Using hands while delivering a speech may act as a great encouragement. It is true that there are differenceson the basis of culture and individual preferences. But if considered generally, we make use of our hands while speaking to support our content.
In case you are worried about the usage of your hands, here comes the solution. Use them while you are pointing to a picture, mimicking a motion or explaining a point. This will further emphasize the expressions on theface.
- Don’t go on reading
Remember that the basic agenda of a PowerPoint presentation is to show bullets and ashort text in the form of keywords. You need to mention only the important points on your slide, and the rest should generate from within. Thus, you need to think wisely about the keywords.
Ensure that you do not go on reading blindly from the slide. One look at the keywords and you should know what to speak.
- Practice makes a man perfect
Remember the old saying- ‘‘Practice makes a man perfect.’’ You should practice and time your presentation from before. This will give you confidence while delivering in the class.
Though giving presentations has now become an everyday affair, I still practice my presentation by managing my time accordingly. While practicing, it’s my roommates who act as my audience. In case you do not have an audience, practice in front of the mirror.
- Take pause in between
There are times when you forget what to say next. Instead of using useless words like ‘ummm’, ‘aah’, consider taking a small pause. This will help you to quickly recall what you need to say as well as help you from embarrassment. You can even talk slower when you think that you are about to forget something.
- Make your audience laugh
It is true that you need to be professional and informative when delivering a presentation. But it does not mean that you have to sound boring! Humor is the best element you can use anywhere. This clearly fits any presentation and makes it interesting. Your audience will be able to remain alerted throughout as well as your aim of educating them with your presentation will be successful.
- Let your images speak
Visuals are powerful sources of communication. Instead of using bullets in each of your subheads, why not add images and posters?
Make use of images which speak on your behalf. For example, if you are making a presentation on advertising, consider adding some images and visuals of popular advertisements.
So, there you have the secret of giving a powerful presentation. Follow these tips in your next presentation and be the student that stands out from the rest!